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January 1979

'Locked-in Coma' in Postinfective Polyneuropathy

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology, Royal Perth and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospitals, and the University Department of Medicine, Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, Nedlands, Western Australia. Dr Carroll is now with the National Hospital, London. Dr Mastaglia is now with the Department of Neurology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Regional Neurological Centre, General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Arch Neurol. 1979;36(1):46-47. doi:10.1001/archneur.1979.00500370076020

• A patient with postinfective cranial and peripheral polyneuropathy exhibited the electroencephalographic and behavioral features of "alphacoma." The relation of this form of extensive peripheral disconnection to those cases with central disconnection due to pontomesencephalic lesions is discussed. We conclude that in both situations further evaluation of brain stem and cortical function is necessary to determine whether or not consciousness is preserved, rather than relying solely on the presence of ocular movements and reactivity of the electroencephalogram.